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Palestinian archbishop urges Israel to arrest anti-Christian vandals ahead of pope's Holy Land visit

Vandals who have scrawled anti-Christian and anti-Muslim graffiti on buildings and holy sites in Jerusalem should to be arrested, the Palestinian archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church told Israeli officials on Sunday.
By JC Finley   |   May 12, 2014 at 6:12 PM   |   Comments

HAIFA, Israel, May 12 (UPI) -- Patriarch Fouad Twal, the Palestinian archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church, urged Israeli officials on Sunday to crackdown on vandals responsible for racist, anti-Christian, and anti-Muslim graffiti on buildings and holy sites in Jerusalem.

The archbishop's comments come ahead of the May 24-26 planned visit by Pope Francis to the Holy Land.

"This wave of extremist actions of terror, are surely a grave concern to all reasonable persons. The government of Israel must be concerned, because it is very bad for the State of Israel's image abroad," the archbishop said in a statement.

Twal is calling on Israeli officials to arrest the vandals. "The actions are only drawing condemnation by Israeli leaders," he said, "but few arrests."

In response to the vandalism, which Israeli security forces have deemed "terrorism," Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni convened an emergency meeting.

"'All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,' to use and often quoted line," cautioned the archbishop.

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